TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced, Thursday, the filing of legislation intended to help protect Floridians and visitors from skimmers - devices that steal credit card information - at gas pumps and to provide better tools to combat fraud at gas stations.
Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Dana Young are sponsoring legislation in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives, respectively.
The number of consumers victimized by each skimmer varies between 100 and 5,000, with an average of $1,000 stolen from each victim. Each skimmer represents a $100,000 to $5,000,000 threat to the state of Florida and its consumers.
“By increasing security measures at gas pumps and increasing the penalties for criminals who prey on innocent consumers, this legislation will help protect Floridians and visitors from thieves who use skimmers to steal from our citizens,” said Representative Dana Young.
Skimmers are devices that illegally capture consumers' credit or debit card information. Through elaborate schemes to defraud, a consumers’ information obtained by a skimmer is often used to make fraudulent purchases. The department has discovered and removed more than 150 skimmers at gas stations in Florida in the past year
In addition to routinely checking pumps for skimmers, the department worked to protect consumers by partnering with the Florida Petroleum Council and the Florida Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association earlier this year on an initiative intended to educate the industry about ways they can help protect consumers from skimmers.